This unusual and interesting surname is a patronymic of the personal name Miles, itself coming from the Germanic given name Milo, derived from the Old German element "mil" meaning "beloved" or "mercy". The Normans brought the name into England. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Thomas Milsson (1379), "The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire" and Robert Melsam (1524), "The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Millsom, Millson, Millsum, Melsom, Melsome, Melson, etc..One Anne Melsam married William White at St. Mary Woolchurch Haw, London on April 1st 1594, and Thomas Milsom married Margarettam Lloyd on July 16th 1660 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. One Thomas Melson is recorded in "The Hearth Tax Returns of Suffolk" in 1674. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Milleson, witness, which was dated 1309, "The Assize Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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